4th Sunday of Advent December 23, 2012
Micah was last of the four prophets of the 8th century BCE. He was called to address the people during dark times. Times were bad, very bad. The people had been lead into captivity and slavery. The future looked bleak and hope seemed to have vanished. The People were distressed and questioning. They are surrounded by signs darkness and loss.
20 little lambs and six shepherds laid to rest out in a field. I ask want is it, we want most for Christmas? Hug your children moms, dads, grandmas & grandpas. Children hug them back!
Danger surrounded them on all sides. The Assyrian’s armies of Tiglathpilser III had conquered Damascus and Samaria. Sennacherib was occupying part of coastal region and menacing Moresheth. Micah knew the people had long ago chosen to reject God. For not only was the threat external but the prophets, priests and judges had long been accepting bribes.
Micah witnessed the wickedness of leaders political and spiritual. Princes and merchants were cheating and robbing the poor and humble, esp. women and children. Priests, prophets and leaders were adapting words to create images the people wanted to hear. Their leaders mislead the people to swap what was evil for good. The Lord must have looked away and abandoned them to their plight.
Poor little suffering small inconsequential town. Taken into captivity, families separated, children from parents, parents from grand parents, spouse from spouse. There was no where to turn?
Micah was thrust into the stark reality that dreams and images of hope had been shattered with darkness closing in from all sides. For an ancient story, a promise of hope, had been buried into his heart and the time had come for it to leap into Micah’s mouth and his breath of light escaped into the dark air with a message of hope and peace desperately needed.
A message of hope and peace is as desperately needed in today’s world as when I was becoming a young man in 1962 during the Cuban Missile crises.
‘Said the night wind – to the little lamb:’ ‘Do you see what I see?’ “
‘Way up in the sky – little lamb,’ ‘Do you see what I see?’ A star, a star Dancing in the night, With a tail as big as a kite.
Bethlehem, Ephrathah the city of David. Too small to be included among the clans of Judah, from you shall come for me the ruler, origin of old, from ancient times. The Promise of Hope!
The message of an infant – a Promised King.
When a virgin will give birth and He shall stand firm and shepherd, with that shall reach to the ends of the earth, shall be peace.
Two women with child brought together, participating in God’s ancient promise. Filled with the Good News and the Holy Spirit, a fourteen year old virgin girl makes haste to journey by herself to share the song in her heart to be shared with her beloved relative Elizabeth, who the Angel Gabriel had told her of.
Elizabeth’s baby stirred in her womb for joy, (the spirit in John recognized the song in her heart was joy at being in the presence of Jesus, the son of God). Elizabeth too was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out, Blessed are you Mary, who trusted in the word of the Lord. Each woman was filled with a song of the miracle within. One far too old and one a virgin young and pure willing to say yes I will do your will.
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy: Do you hear what I hear? Ringing thru the sky shepherd boy, Do you hear what I hear? A song, a song High above the tree, |: With a voice as big as the sea. 😐
The Child, the Child, – sleeping in the night He will bring us – goodness and light He will bring us – goodness and light